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Big Forge, Small Me

Started by Frank T, April 05, 2005, 09:47:28 AM

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Shreyas Sampat

The thing with GNS is that, in these modern times, seeing someone use any of those three terms is almost always identical to seeing someone misuse those three terms.

It' easier to just talk about games and people and play and forget about categories and numinous motivations.


Quote from: Valamirfor some those letters are like a red flag to a bull.

::snorts and charges Ralph::


Quote from: Shreyas SampatIt' easier to just talk about games and people and play and forget about categories and numinous motivations.
Hear, hear.

Jason Morningstar

Quote from: Eero Tuovinen
Small things control people's attitudes. This is especially true for newbies, who have only a tenuous and singular personal contact with the Forge. For such a person, even getting cited by a regular is a big thing, and not getting answers on a new thread will seem to resonate on the whole forum. But when experiences pile up, each single experience will lessen in importance, and a feel of personal attachment to the community in the whole will develop.

Frank, what Eero said.  It totally feel your pain.  I've tried to get involved in a smaller forum (Lumpley Games) and that's helped.  My posts in the larger design forum were roundly ignored, or at least my questions went unanswered, and I wondered what I did wrong.  It's a little intimidating, and the temptation to lurk or leave is strong.  


Emily Care

friggin,frackin--that guest post was me. Forgot I wasn't logged in.

QuoteMy posts in the larger design forum were roundly ignored, or at least my questions went unanswered, and I wondered what I did wrong.
Always the way.  I've adopted the opinion that if folks don't bother to disagree with you then they're giving tacit approval.  Keeps things in perspective.  The funny thing is that contentious stuff ends up getting much more attention because of that. The lumpley principidles became canon (at least in part) because it was so vociferously opposed/questioned.

And I"m sure your questions weren't the only ones unanswered--so many questions only so much time.  The folks who answer so many q's go sainted in my book. Smaller forums are much better for 1 on 1 attention.

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games

Frank T

Yeah you know, this Forge habit of not posting just to state agreement or comprehension can be really disturbing. I still have to resist the urge to do it myself, too.

What with the being a Newbie and not belonging, I believe it's more to it than not understanding Forgespeak and Forge theory. I've dug into that, and we discuss it a lot in German as well. I really think I got a grip now on a lot of the stuff discussed here. This recent developement hasn't changed my feelings toward the Forge, though.

I can't really put a finger on it, but I think there is much wisdom in what Eero wrote.

Ben Lehman

Frank --

For what it's worth, I consider you a part of "what goes on here," especially recently, and think your game is one of the better developments out of the design forum in quite some time.

Aww... group hug.


Frank T

Thanks Ben, not that I was fishing for this sort of compliment, of course... ;-) But I really appreciate it.

- Frank

Mike Holmes

Questions go unanswered just because of volume. Period. Nobody can cover all of the topics out there. So some of them will just slip between the cracks. If it really bugs you, take the time to post to me personally, and I'll come look at your thread. Or ask somebody else. Be social, and make us feel guilty that your thread isn't being looked at.

Because we're nice people. Really. Anyone who feels intimidated by me or Ron or anyone here just has some artificial view of us as something other that what we are - just folks who like to play RPGs. Get over it, and get to know us.

Yah, I'm gruff and cantankerous at times. That's just part of my charm, tho, once you get to know me.

On the other issue, one of whether or not you know the theory, well nobody is requiring anyone to know the theory unless they want to talk about the theory. Ron says all the time, "Talk about something else!" and all he gets in response is "We aren't allowed to, because we don't know the theory!" If anyone tells you that you aren't qualified to post here because you don't know the theory, send them to me, and I'll fix them.

I promise this every year, but nobody takes me up on it. Honestly, the "core" folks around here are dedicated to this being an open site for discussion, and if you complain to us that you're being hassled by somebody weilding their knowledge of theory to make you feel unapreciated, we'll kick their ass.

As for writing style, does someone feel marginalized by the fact that they don't want to participate in discussions because of the writing styles of the most active posters? Do you think that we're actively trying to exclude some people because of how we write? I write how I write, because that's how I write, and I'm not good at writing any other way. I suppose we could all start posting in Spanish, too, so that we don't make it hard for those who can only read that language? Could it actually be that our sin is laziness, and not politics at all? Who do we have it out for? The notion is preposterous.

Again, for the people that know those of us that are thought of as the "Core", I think it's pretty obvious that allegations of politics and such are just not true. Do we have a bias, on the other hand? Yep, all of us are humans last I checked. At least we make our biases known up front so people can filter our opinions through them, and defend others rights to their biases at the same time.

Does that make us fair or perfect. Nope, human again. But I don't think that there's a "Fix" to this problem. The question comes up every year, and nobody has proposed anything yet that didn't end up being "let's make a glossary!" But, hey, if you've got the solution, let's hear it.

If I seem a tad perturbed, it's because I'd like to think that I, amongst others, do a lot to help people out here. I'm not looking for accolades (occasionally when I do this rant, I get people writing to say thanks and such - please don't, I'm not digging for praise here). It just bugs me when I hear yet another chorus of "Oh, the Forge Elite think they're such hot shit!" We don't deserve anything like that.

And don't send me any "Oh, it's not you, Mike" posts, either. If you have a culprit, report them. If you can't think of who the problem is, then maybe there really isn't one.

You may now proceed with the traditional claims regarding ostriches and holes in the ground.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Frank T


I can only speak for myself, but I'm not complaining about anything. I was just stating an observation and asking if someone (of the other Newbies around) can relate to it. By no means was I demanding that you or anyone "fix" something.

- Frank

Ron Edwards


In case anyone's interested, Forge policy permits posts of agreement without further content.

I am often fascinated by what people perceive as the rules of the site, as opposed to the actual rules.



Frank, y'know, even still, sometimes I hit "submit" and I go - oh crap, this is the post that finally reveals me to be the moron I am. (They're gonna boot me out of the core for sure.)

And then sometimes I go - oh crap, nobody's replying. It must be worse than I thought. (Wait, am I even in the core to begin with? Uh oh.)

Mike, I know you'll kick ass for me, but I don't think kicking ass can fix it! Individual, personal insecurity underlies every social problem here.

The way I figure it, we have to trade off reassuring one another with getting work done. If getting work done means that we lose people we could've kept, if only we'd reassured them a little bit more - well, shit happens. We do what we can do.


Mike Holmes

Frank, not that I was aiming at you or anyone in particular, but sorry if I jumped the gun.

I just thought I'd get it out of the way early this year. :-)

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Lance D. Allen

'ey Mikey! It's not you. Nor is it Ron, or Clinton.

I mean, not really. It's nothing or no one concrete. The Forge just has a certain.. presense, feel to it. I've been here long enough to consider myself a veteran, if not a core member. Hell, I've been recognized by name by various people at the Forge booth, which probably makes me more core than note.

And I still feel that same feeling. Everything Frank, Eero, Jason, and the thread of delurkers has said finds resonance in me. I fret over posting Actual Play, or delay into not doing it at all, because I want it to be right, the right mix of play-by-play with meaningful observations and questions. I want it to be like the sort of posts I read there that just make me go.. "Wow." I'm not sure I can do "Wow." and so I hesitate and procrastinate.

I wait, and refine, and think and rethink my stuff before I post it into Indie Game Design. I want it to be complete. I hate it when the first post points out a glaring hole. I want people to point out holes, but I don't want them to be things I should have seen. Worse yet, I don't want it to be one of the posts that asks specific questions, then drops off the page without a reply. Yes, as Emily points out the best, the default way to view things should be to assume that if no one disagrees or finds fault, that it's tacit agreement or approval. It really feels like disinterest though.

It's not anything any of the core members have done or said. As you point out, Mike, everyone does their best to be approachable, to be helpful and interested, and it shows. The intimidation factor is in spite of, not because your efforts.

So you're right. there's not really a "fix" for it. It's hard to fix something when you can't really figure out what's causing it. But you cannot, in any fairness, deny that it, whatever it may be, exists.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Ron Edwards

I have the solution right here in this post.

Rename this thread: Big Me, Small Forge.

This place is only what we make of it, and in order for it to be good, you have to believe that you can be better than (a) smackdown-meat, (b) wannabe poser, (c) fucking pseudointellectual scum, or (d) troll.

Is any of those things you? No? I didn't think so. Even if you have posted in these fashions at other places, it's still not who are you. All of these things are dishonest.

Can you bring who you are to this website? If so, then guaranteed, who you are is bigger than the website could ever be.

Recognize that and recognize as well that no single post is you either. Post accordingly. The site will be enriched and will expand to match you, and that's the only way it will ever be good.